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Packing (lightly)

The Art of

27 °C

There has been plenty written about the art of packing lightly as a backpacker. Whether for a weekend trip or a sojourn lasting several months, everyone has their tried and tested methods. Here’s some of the Art I have created through my years of backpacking.

1. Never pack more than one day before a trip. Even better, pack on the day of the trip. You can kill a whole hour on the flight wondering if the underwear you packed were clean or whether you packed enough Dental Floss (See below)

2. When packing, lay out everything you think you’ll need. Take half of that and pack it in your bag. Now take the other half and see how much of it you can sneak into your travel partner’s bag. If you do not have a travel partner, find one, loser.

3. Quick Dry clothing! OK, so they’re not the most fashionable but you’re not either, so get over it. No more than two pairs of jeans rule. Use the layering system for cold weather and carry washing powder for hot weather so you can hand wash and rotate those singlets and shorts. No matter how desperate you are, never use the inside/outside/backward/frontward reuse underwear method. That’s just gross. Neverfail Converse Chucks are the best for the feet.

Floss your teeth, and then sew a button.
Just make sure you suck off the left-overs first

4. Do your research - Are toiletries cheaper where you are going? If so, pack a toothbrush and toothpaste and buy everything when you get there. This can extend to underwear, shoes, clothing, budgie smugglers etc

5. What about spare this and spare that? The only thing spare you should really bring is a spare liver. But first be sure to check your destination on whether a) it is illegal to smuggle organs b) Whether there is a black market for organs (ever seen the movie Turistas?) or c) whether that particular organ is a delicacy

What a vital organ is to you, may be a delicacy for others
6. Do not leave home without:

a. Thongs/Flip Flops - Trust me, you’ll know why on your first shared bathroom experience. Shoes? Seriously ladies, how many do you REALLY need.

b. Music! - Only cool stuff. ‘Maroon 5’? Get that shit outta here! Don’t forget the charger.

c. Book to read - There’s really no need to carry more than one reading book at a time, and if you do read more than one book at a time, time to look up and enjoy the scenery. George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four NOT recommended (later blog). Can also come in handy as emergency toilet paper. Just don’t flush down toilet.

d. Dental Floss – You know what you can do with floss? Hang clothes on to dry, tie stuff together, even floss teeth. Safety pins always handy for unexpected flip-flop blowouts.

e. Compass and map – Compass? I have never carried a compass but try and orientate a map of Tokyo using street names (or lack thereof) and you’ll know why I’ll always be carrying one from now on.

f. Sun screen – Because skin cancer kills stupid. Plus, it fights the aging process.

g. Pain killers or Ibuprofen – Yes you can probably buy this but chances are you’ll be in no mood or condition to be going to the pharmacist in the morning stinking of last night’s alcohol and cigarettes.

Shop carefully. Budgie Smugglers may be cheaper at
your destination and where shame is not in the vocabulary

Remember, there’s no right or wrong way of packing lightly. Just a sore back or missed connection.

Posted by Al Jam 17:28 Archived in Thailand Tagged packing backpacking budgie smugglers lightly floss

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